Every homeowner loves the idea of a plush, comforting carpet to liven up the home. What they don’t love is the potential for stains. Due to carpet’s soft and porous nature, this flooring type can be easily damaged by various liquids. There’s nothing worse than making a sizable investment in a carpet installation, only to deal with stains and discoloration that could have been avoided.
Fortunately, stains that can occur on carpets are easily removable. There are a variety of tried-and-true methods homeowners have been using for years to safeguard their carpeting. In this article, we’ll address each one and provide you with some tips on how to clean and avoid stains.
How to Clean Stains From Carpet With Household Products
One of the main perks of using carpeting is that stains can almost always be removed with light-duty products found in the pantry. With no need for expensive, complicated cleaning supplies, you can tackle stains as soon as they happen. Every individual has their own perfect recipe that they swear by, but in general, they all use the same three ingredients: water, vinegar, and baking soda.
Using Water, Vinegar, and Baking Soda
For best results, use a 1:2 ratio of warm water to baking soda and add in a teaspoon or two of baking powder. The vinegar will add acidity to the solution so that the stain can break down, and the chemical reaction that occurs with the baking soda will allow the dirt and grime to lift out of the carpet fibers. Follow these simple steps for success:
- Blot excess liquid with a clean white cloth
- Vacuum the area to remove excess dirt
- Mix the ratio of warm water, white vinegar, and baking soda in a spray bottle
- Apply generously to the affected area until damp
- Let set for 5-10 minutes
- Rinse and blot the affected area with a wet, clean cloth
- Allow time to dry
Source: Real Simple (Article: The Best Homemade Carpet Cleaners for Removing Stains From Every Type of Rug)
Note: Be sure to only use white vinegar with this method. Other vinegar types have dyes and will likely cause a worse stain than you had before. Additionally, do not use vinegar on natural fiber carpets like wool, as they are too fragile; instead, opt for a simple solution of dish soap and warm water, which won’t break down the fibers.
How to Clean a Badly Stained Carpet With Commercial Products
Depending on the severity and type of stain you’re dealing with, you may have to bring in the big guns. There are many different cleaning products available that you can use to remove particularly aggressive stains. Before using any, be sure to read the fine print and ensure that they’re compatible with your carpet type.
Using Stain Remover and Shampoo
A commercial carpet cleaner and stain pre-treatment will remove even the worst of stains. Although these products have a little more muscle behind them, they do cost significantly more than household products. Additionally, they’ll require a run to the store, and in many cases, you’ll need a carpet cleaning machine for them to function properly. Regardless, they’re a fantastic product for stains that need serious attention.
How to Clean Tough Carpet Stains With a Cleaning Machine
First, you’ll need to locate a carpet cleaning machine. While many of these are prohibitively expensive, there are options available to homeowners just looking for help with quick stain removal. Small, handheld carpet cleaners come at a fraction of the price and are useful for small areas. They only hold a small amount of water though, so any serious stain removal will require a larger machine.
Another option is to rent a machine. Many home improvement and grocery stores offer daily rentals. If you’re only using it occasionally, why bother with a big, bulky purchase?
Once you’ve acquired a cleaning machine, purchase the shampoo that goes with it. Failure to use the correct solution could damage the machine or simply be ineffective at cleaning. Once this is done, the cleaning process is simple:
- Blot excess liquid with a white cloth
- If using stain treatment, spray the affected area
- Fill the machine with water to the appropriate level
- Add soap to the dispenser (follow the directions for the specific machine you are using)
- To use, push the machine’s nozzle away from you as it sprays the affected area with water
- Pull the nozzle back in a straight line, sucking up dirty water
- Let air dry
Source: Hunker.com (Article: How to Use Carpet Shampooer)